Now Once Again

How many years ago, I’ve lost the count,
we lay beneath these trees at summer’s end;
the orchard left to tend itself for then
the children came and seasons tumbled all
together, mad delightful swirling years.
The days, like fallen leaves, soon swept away
to leave us here like these forgotten trees.

Now once again we lie beneath the trees
remembering fair seasons gone before.
A winsome smell, an apple blossom wine,
and time, the careful gardener, cast their spell:
Might apples once again grace these old trees?
It happens now and then in orchards old
and left to tend themselves by nature’s hand.

Now once again—I whisper not a word
of this, of springtime’s blush upon the trees;
nor seal with dulcet praise our quondam days,
nor point to cirrus clouds as they float by,
but contemplate the lines upon a fallen
leaf, and tossing it away, I say,
“Old girl, there might be apples again this year.”



Leland James is the author of five poetry collections, four children’s books in verse, and a book on creative writing and poetry craft. He has published over three hundred poems worldwide including The Lyric, Rattle, London Magazine, The South Carolina Review, The Spoon River Poetry Review, New Millennium Writings, The American Poetry Review, The Haiku Quarterly, The American Cowboy, and The Ekphrastic Review. He was the winner of the Aesthetica Creative Writing Award and has won or received honors in many other competitions, both in the USA and Europe. Leland has been featured in American Life in Poetry and was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize.
www.lelandjamespoet.com & https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/leland-james

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5 Responses

  1. Bunny

    Dear Leland James,

    I really like your poem. It is whimsical and serious both at the same time. It is truly beautiful. Thank you for your poem. It gave me a much needed smile.

  2. Paul Freeman

    I’m with Bunny. A little bit melancholy, but hits a soft spot.

    Thanks for the read, Leland.

  3. Cynthia Erlandson

    I love the poignant way you personify time: seasons tumbling together, and days falling like leaves, and time itself being a gardener.

  4. Jeff Eardley

    Leland, wistful and melancholy and a delight to read, and thanks for “quondam,” a new word for me.


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